Actress and Fox News contributor Stacey Dash joined Breitbart News Daily with SiriusXM host Stephen K. Bannon on Tuesday to talk about her new book, There Goes My Social Life: From Clueless to Conservative.
Dash said she grew up in the South Bronx, the daughter of “two drug-addicted parents,” who were “very young when they had me.” Her parents gave her away to a Cuban family who effectively raised her until she was five years old. The sixteen-year-old son of that family molested her when she was just four years old.
“I was ashamed to tell my parents, and my mother never made it feel safe to tell her anything,” she said. “It always seemed like it was my fault. She made me feel like I was dirty. She always called me a tramp. Even at such a young age, these are the things she would say to me.”
She did tell her foster parents, but they did little about the abuse, beyond making some effort to keep their son away from Dash and keeping the abuse under wraps. Fortunately, the assaults came to an end, but Dash is candid that the experience and childhood memories of being repeatedly neglected and abandoned by her irresponsible parents, left her with some “issues.”
There were more traumatic incidents, such as Dash’s discovering her mother near death from either an accidental or deliberate drug overdose; she still is not sure which. She also had to deal with the constant sense of shame that came from being a welfare family in the South Bronx.
“It’s shameful. You’re a lamb for the slaughter if you’re on welfare. That means you’re lazy, and you can’t be responsible for yourself. You don’t know how to hustle,” she said of the prevailing attitude. “And the main thing you need to know how to do, if you want to survive in the hood, is know how to hustle. When you do hustle, you make up to $30,000 a day. Why would you stop doing that?”
“Those people are the people who take care of the other people in the neighborhood. They keep the streets safe. They keep the people’s respect,” she continued. “They have the respect, and they decide who’s gonna do what. If you’re on welfare, you end up being a runner or a drug addict.”
Dash said children raised in such horrific environments find it almost impossible to focus on bettering themselves through education and planning an escape from the hood.
You come from a home where everybody’s fighting. You know, your mother’s trying to stab your father, or everybody’s been wasted all night long or partying all night long. You try to go to school, and then you get to school, and you have to fight because everybody’s fighting. Everybody’s so angry. There’s a culture of, “I’d rather be mad than sad” because things are so bad at home, and there’s so much sadness.
“If you don’t fight, you’re gonna die, and so I had to be a fighter. I chose to be a fighter. I was not going to be a victim of my circumstances,” she declared.
It’s an attitude Dash carries to this day, armored against Hollywood’s liberal culture by the thick skin she grew in the Bronx and sustained by her faith.
“I’ve had to plant my feet on the ground and stand strong. I’ve had to stand for what I believe in and not let anybody take that away from me,” she said. “I have to know that what I’m believing in is true, and then don’t let anybody shake it.”
Dash talked about the Obama 2008 campaign as the experience that led to her political awakening.
“I always was aware of politics. I loved the Reagan days. I remember, during Reagan, everybody was so happy. There was so much money everywhere. That’s what I remember, as far as the adults were concerned,” she chuckled. “There were no problems. People weren’t fighting as much, as far as parents, and uncles, and aunts. People just had money.”
“I remember being aware of those things, but as far as being involved, it was on the outside. But when a black man ran for president, I thought, ‘Oh, my God, this is fantastic! A black president! Finally! We’re done! Racial issues are over; it’s gone. Yes!’” she recalled. “Let’s vote for a black president, and if he wins – and he did; he won! And I thought, ‘Praise Jesus! My God, we’re going to have a country that’s united in such a profound way. It’s going to be wonderful.’”
“But what did he do?” she asked. “Instead, he divided us more than I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. I think, more than the civil rights movement.”
Dash said that “bailouts, entitlements, and Obamacare” made her realize Obama was not whom she hoped he would be. When her boyfriend at the time helped her realize she was living under a socialist regime, her moment of true political awareness arrived: “Hell, no! That’s not America. We’re not socialists!”
She has an answer for those who argue socialism would help children raised in the sort of hellish family environment she endured:
If you keep giving people stuff for free, if you don’t have a sense of accomplishment, if you don’t have a sense of achievement … it would not have been better for me, if it had been socialist. I would have been a lamb for slaughter. That would have made me a lamb for slaughter. I would still be there, unable to get out from underneath.
How did Stacey Dash get out from underneath? “I paid very close attention to the people who were in power,” she said, adding:
I paid very close attention to people like my uncle, who ran the block. I paid very close attention to the people who made money, a lot of money, and how they treated everyone else. And I paid very close attention to the people who were on welfare, and how they acted, how they behaved, and what it did to them.
“What it did to them was, it gave them no sense of self. They had no identity,” she observed. “And when you don’t have a sense of self, you become depressed. When you become depressed, you become addicted. When you become addicted, you become abusive. It just perpetuates a cycle that goes on, generation after generation.”
Dash said that by rejecting that wisdom and blaming the downward spiral on middle-class white people, Obama’s politics exacerbated class and racial tensions.
“He made it that the white man, the conservatives, do not like you because you’re black. They want to keep you down,” she said. “You’re never gonna get out because white men are not gonna let you.”
“That’s the signal he was giving, and he’s even said, you know, ‘The color of your skin – you better watch out because people are gonna judge you based on the color of your skin. You know, my grandson couldn’t go walking down the street because he might be picked up.’ Gimme a break,” said an exasperated Dash.
“Which is untrue. Completely and utterly untrue,” she argued. “Calling conservatives and Republicans racist…we’re the least racist. We’re the ones who give the money to the community. We’re the ones who have private sector jobs for people and private programs for people so they can get out from under.”
She described racism as a “psychological prison that black people in the inner cities have put themselves in.”
“It is not the reality. I know that because I’ve gotten out of there,” she declared. “I’ve been in both worlds, so I’ve seen it, and it does not exist, really. Only in your head does it exist.”
Dash said she wrote There Goes My Social Life so people could see she was “coming from a place of experience, not a place of judgment.”
“I know what you are thinking. I know what you’re feeling. I know what it is to be where you are. I’ve been there,” she said.
From this perspective, she advised the Republican Party to “shatter the narrative that Democrats have been putting out there, that plantation mentality – you know, ‘Here’s your forty acres and a mule. Stay where you are. We’ll give you your entitlements. Don’t move.’”
“We have to break that, shatter it, and the only way is boots on the ground,” she urged. Elaborating, she said:
We have to go into the inner cities, show up, show our faces, and show we care. See what they want. Ask them, “What is it you need? What are the tools we can give you, so you can make $30,000 a day legally, okay? So that you can take advantage of the opportunities, so that we can give you the opportunities.”
Dash warned this will be a formidable challenge because “the narrative of the Democrats is so strong.”
“They’ve used the media. They own Hollywood. And Hollywood, whether we like it or not, dictates the culture of the country,” she said. “Republicans have to take it back. We have to make it Ronald Reagan’s Hollywood again.”
She argued that black members of the Hollywood community, especially writers and directors, have “segregated themselves” in an industry which, ironically, embodies the kind of social and economic pathologies it loves to project on the rest of the nation.
“White Hollywood has said, ‘Okay, do that. That helps us because you’re perpetuating the stereotype that this is how black people are,’” she said. “They don’t even see it.”
Dash said she was well-positioned to discuss Hollywood prejudice, given that she is black, Mexican, and conservative.
“I’ve heard I’m not black enough, but then I’m not white,” she said. “And then I’ve had all of Hollywood just turn their back on me because I’m a conservative. I’ve had my agents drop me because of my political beliefs. They’ve tried to scare me into submission. I said I’m not going to be scared into submission.”
“That is not better for my career. It would kill my spirit. I am a strong woman of faith, and if God is for me, no man can be against me,” she declared. “What God wants for me, no man will keep from me. So you will not scare me into not believing what I believe.”
Dash said her faith was “all I had while I was growing up, and it’s the only reason I’m sitting here today, is by the grace of God. And I know that.”
In her book, she grapples with the difficult truth that escaping from her past did not erase it. Her understanding of redemption, absolution, strength, and achievement does not include memory wipes. For example, she says she endured domestic abuse for much too long because “I didn’t know any better, and I guess I thought I deserved it.”
“I guess something inside of me psychologically believed that’s what I deserved,” she said, looking back to the childhood that deprived her of identity and self-worth.
She stated that her moment of revelation came when she was lying on an abortion table: “God spoke to me. God said, ‘Keep your son.’”
“I literally ripped the IV out of me because that’s how far along I was. I was so far along, they were going to put me under,” she recalled, sharing:
I ripped the IV out of me, and I jumped up. My doctor said, “Okay, calm down. Let’s do a sonogram.” We did, and I saw my son’s heartbeat. And I thought, “How could you have possibly thought of killing your child?” And I said to myself, “It’s you and me, kid, that’s it.” And I never did another drug, and I decided, I am going to make it for my son.
She remains absolutely certain divine providence touched her in that moment. “I heard God. God spoke to me, and I have a beautiful 25-year-old son today because of that and a 12-year-old daughter because of that,” she testified.
Dash cited the support of her fans as another positive force in her life:
Their support means so much to me, to have someone come up to me and tell me, “Thank you for standing up because so many people won’t,” that gives me more strength. And when people try to beat me down and tell me, “You’re not gonna get a job,” or fire me, or tell me they’re not gonna represent me, or shut me up, that gives me more fire to fight because I’m gonna prove ’em wrong.
Unfortunately, she foresees a great deal of fighting during the 2016 election.
“It’s going to get very ugly,” Dash predicted. “It’s gonna get really bad before it gets any better.”
“What’s going to make it get better?” Bannon asked.
“Trump–when Trump becomes president,” former Obama voter Stacey Dash replied, “and we build a wall, and we finally deal with illegal immigration. We have to deal with it. We’ve been trying to deal with it for years – decades – and we have not. We have to finally deal with it.”
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